Affecting up to 40% of women by age 50, female pattern hair loss is a condition that occurs in women who suffer from androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia begins with patients noticing a thinning of their hair. There are also obvious signs of shedding, like more hair fall in the shower, in their hairbrush, and on their pillow when they wake up in the morning.
Unlike men who suffer from male pattern hair loss, women with female-pattern hair loss will notice hair thinning all over their scalp. Women lose hair on the top of the head, causing a widening of the center hair part.
Fortunately, female pattern hair loss rarely leads to complete baldness as it does for men.
Female Pattern Hair Loss Causes
There are more than one contributing causes of female pattern hair loss:
It’s normal that we lose some amount of hair as we age, whether we are male or female.
Female pattern hair loss can be triggered by hormonal changes. Women who have already experienced menopause will likely experience hair loss. Changes in androgen levels are responsible for not only hair loss for women, but increased and coarser hair on other parts of her body.
You are more likely to develop the female pattern hair loss yourself, if someone else in your family such as your mother, father or grandmother suffered the condition.
The Three Stages Of The Hair Growth Cycle
In general, hair will grow approximately six inches each year in its growth cycle and it’s very important to understand the process to recognize and understand many of the problems you can encounter with your hair. The hair growth cycle consists of three distinct stages – anagen, catagen and telogen:
This is the active hair growth phase. The cells of the hair root rapidly grow and divide in this phase. When a new hair forms, it will push upward out of the follicle and if there is already a hair in the follicle, that hair will be pushed out, or shed. This shedding is normal.
In the anagen phase, the hair will grow about approximately 1 cm each month. The growth phase, or anagen phase, lasts an average of 2-6 years. People who have the inability to grow their hair beyond a certain length have short anagen phase. On the contrary, people who are able to grow their hair very long very quickly, have a long anagen phase.
During the catagen phase, which lasts approximately 10 days, growth of the hair stops. The outside root sheath of the follicle will shrink and attach itself to the root of the hair.
The telogen phase is the resting phase of the growth cycle which lasts for approximately 100 days. In this phase your hair is released and falls out. During the telogen phase the follicle is at rest, and the club hair is completely formed. There’s a whitish bulb at the root which is noticeable if you were to pull it out and look at the root.
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